Jose Mourinho has threatened to field a weakened team for the visit to Liverpool after criticising the Premier League for not shifting the match to a Saturday. The match will be on Sunday evening, which is Chelsea just two days of recovery time before the second leg of the Champions League semi-final with Atletico Madrid. The blues managed a 0-0 draw from the first leg and everything now rests upon the second leg.
The suspensions to Frank Lampard and John obi Mikel (for the Atletico Madrid match) coupled with injuries to Petr Cech and John Terry means that the Chelsea squad will be stretched. It is understandable that Mourinho wants his ‘small squad’ to have maximum recovery time.
His decision to publicly announce his plans of a weakened team is likely to attract a lot of criticism and talking points prior to the match. Mourinho said:
“I would play the players that are not going to play next Wednesday [against Atletico Madrid]. I can’t decide by myself. I’m just the manager. I have to listen to the club.
“When the Premier League decide to put that Liverpool game on Sunday, when Liverpool refuse to play on a Saturday, it is a decision I have to make with the club, if the club wants to go with everything in direction of the Champions League I am ready for that.”
Sunday, 27th: Liverpool vs Chelsea
Wednesday, 30th: Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid
After the Sunderland defeat on Saturday, Liverpool opened a five point lead in the table with three matches remaining. At this stage, it makes a lot of sense to focus on the Champions League.
After all, the Premier League doesn’t try to help English clubs so Mourinho is trying to prioritise for the benefit of the club.